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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Results: Picks and Predictions for Week No. 9

EXPLAINING OUR PICKS: The 4th Down Magazine crew picks all games involving Mid-Penn Conference teams, as well as Schuylkill-Colonial League games featuring former members of the now-defunct Twin Valley Conference. Come playoff time, they’ll expand to include all District 3 teams, as well as the local District 4, District 6 and District 11 programs. Then they’ll get really bold in the state semifinals and start picking games across the state. The predictions are meant for entertainment purposes only because, truth be told, these guys aren’t very bright. Three of them are former full-time sportswriters (dummies), and the other decided to start a high school football magazine despite the fact he already works a full-time job. But, dangit, they like to watch football, think about football, write about football, and eat. That last one isn’t related to picking football games unless you count the mustard on the keyboard. As always, enjoy, and don’t take it too seriously. Nobody here hates any program. Any perceived disrespect is a figment of your imagination. Except Sandrik, who absolutely DESPISES … (transmission interrupted) …


Picker: Week 9 – Overall – Perfect Picks
Adam Kulikowski: 18-3 — 167-50 — 0
Andy Shay: 19-2 — 162-55 — 2
Andy Sandrik: 17-4 — 160-59 — 1
Geoff Morrow: 18-3 — 160-59 — 1


 * In scorelines, home team in all caps

Thursday, Oct. 20


WEST PERRY 42, Camp Hill 20

Andy Shay: West Perry 38, Camp Hill 14: Mustangs are rolling, and points on the scoreboard are what carry this team. Defensively, they started slow a week ago but eventually joined the party. Don’t forget about the defense. Lions are struggling to score and keep up.

Geoff Morrow: West Perry 40, Camp Hill 14: Perhaps not so surprising since the Capital, sans Middletown, isn’t very strong this year, but the Lions will be just the third team with a current winning record the Mustangs have faced (Juniata and Trinity are the others). So long as West Perry doesn’t look past Camp Hill to Steel-High next week, the unbeaten mark should remain into Week 10.

Andy Sandrik: West Perry 44, Camp Hill 7: As of late, the Mustangs haven’t been perfect while pursuing their perfect season, with slow starts in back-to-back games. It’s important this week for WP to be clean, sharp and healthy.

Adam Kulikowski: West Perry 47, Camp Hill 13: This has quickly become one of those seasons the gents from Elliottsburg will talk about long after they hang up the cleats. 

Steelton-Highspire 35, TRINITY 28 (OT)

Andy Shay: Steel-High 42, Trinity 28: Are the Shamrocks ready to take the next step and put the Rollers on tilt? Steel-High is in control of this outcome. Can the T-Rocks wrestle some of that power away and make this a game down the stretch?

Geoff Morrow: Steel-High 53, Trinity 20: The Shamrocks’ defense pitched an impressive shutout last week vs. rival Camp Hill. Somehow that ‘D’ will still have to be significantly better this week to prevail against a team that has scored 74, 61, 71 and 68 points over its last four games. 

Andy Sandrik: Steel-High 52, Trinity 21: To me, the only path to victory for Trinity is scoring a lot of points. Like, a metric ton. And even if that happens, it’s still an uphill battle for the Shamrocks.

Adam Kulikowski: Steel-High 55, Trinity 23: Just like clockwork, the Rollers are hitting their stride just as we get closer to the playoffs. 

Friday, Oct. 21


CARLISLE 24, Altoona 14

Andy Shay: Carlisle 27, Altoona 24: Not sure how to see this game. Altoona has been more consistent. Carlisle is a box-of-chocolates team: You are never quite sure what you are going to get. Mountain Lions deserve to be the favorite, so I’m taking the underdog?

Geoff Morrow: Carlisle 28, Altoona 21: Here’s why I love high school football: CV and Carlisle were headed in completely opposite directions entering last week. The Herd hadn’t beaten CV since 2004. (For context, the Red Sox had just rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS en route to the World Series title, which seems like forever ago.) Then Carlisle springs one of the biggest upsets of the year, and they’re STILL giving folks (a.k.a. Sandrik) the business for not picking them. Yet I guarantee if you would have asked Carlisle faithful for an honest prediction last week, all would have said CV. Ha. Herd just needs to avoid a let-down this week.

Andy Sandrik: Carlisle 33, Altoona 27: All I was hearing last weekend at the Bellaire Elementary FallFest is how Carlisle can make the playoffs if it takes care of business over these last two, winnable games. I don’t think the Mountain Lions will make it easy, though. 

Adam Kulikowski: Altoona 34, Carlisle 28: Props to the Thundering Herd, who upset a Cumberland Valley team riding high last week. Keeping that kind of momentum going can be challenging. 

Central Dauphin East 32, CENTRAL DAUPHIN 0

Andy Shay: Central Dauphin 42, CD East 14: Did you know, because of their ridiculous schedule and how tough it’s been, the Rams still have a legitimate shot at making the postseason? Yes, this is a rivalry game as well. Rams are playing good football. CD East is not right now.

Geoff Morrow: Central Dauphin 40, CD East 20: You might want to believe this intense sister school rivalry produces a bunch of closely contested games that come down to the final minutes of the fourth quarter. But you’d be wrong. Only one of the last seven meetings was competitive for 48 minutes.

Andy Sandrik: Central Dauphin 42, CD East 13: The Rams seem to win their toss-up games while also playing up to the level of superior opponents. How will CD fare in a game where it’s favored? 

Adam Kulikowski: Central Dauphin 35, CD East 14: Plenty of fight in these Rams, battling through injuries at key positions to contend for a playoff berth.

STATE COLLEGE 48, Cumberland Valley 31

Andy Shay: State College 28, Cumberland Valley 7: Not knowing the status of Eagles QB Isaac Sines makes the CV points total tricky. The outcome? Even with Sines playing and healthy, the Little Lions are the pick.

Geoff Morrow: State College 33, Cumberland Valley 14: A pair of stunning results last week: CV falling to Carlisle, and State High shutting down Harrisburg. I think the Little Lions are immune to hangovers, so I expect they’ll be up to task even if the Eagles regroup and play their best ball again.

Andy Sandrik: State College 30, Cumberland Valley 17: I’m making this pick under the assumption Sines is out. If he is playing, give the Eagles another TD here, but the Little Lions are still winning.

Adam Kulikowski: State College 34, Cumberland Valley 17: The Little Lions made quite the statement last week against Harrisburg. Add in the uncertainty of Sines, who left last week’s game and didn’t return, and it’s tough to see a path to victory for the Eagles this week.

Harrisburg 41, CHAMBERSBURG 0

Andy Shay: Harrisburg 41, Chambersburg 7: How you respond when you lose matters in high school football. Still a lot on the table for Harrisburg this season, and the Trojans don’t have the horses.

Geoff Morrow: Harrisburg 44, Chambersburg 14: The Cougars put a hurting on Carlisle the week after losing to Manheim Twp. earlier this season. I imagine they’ll take out their frustrations again on another overmatched foe. But Harrisburg has work to do, more than many of us expected.

Andy Sandrik: Harrisburg 49, Chambersburg 7: This game looks, smells and feels like one of those nights where a madder-than-hell Harrisburg team could very well put up a 70-spot just to put the rest of the football world on notice.

Adam Kulikowski: Harrisburg 45, Chambersburg 6: Cougars are looking to rebound as they get tuned up for the postseason. This is a great opportunity to do just that. 


Bishop McDevitt 54, MIFFLIN COUNTY 6

Andy Shay: Bishop McDevitt 59, Mifflin County 7: Another tune-up game for the Crusaders. That’s the Keystone Division in 2022. 

Geoff Morrow: Bishop McDevitt 61, Mifflin County 6: They’ve met twice, and the combined score is 96-0. The only question here in another boring McDevitt-involved Keystone game is whether the Huskies score their first ever points against the Crusaders.

Andy Sandrik: Bishop McDevitt 65, Mifflin County 7: I’m running out of creative ways to describe how Bishop McDevitt is hilariously better than any other team in the Keystone.

Adam Kulikowski: Bishop McDevitt 67, Mifflin County 13: There’s not a team in the Keystone Division that can contend with the Crusaders. That’s no disrespect to the feisty Huskies, either.

Cedar Cliff 42, RED LAND 0

Andy Shay: Cedar Cliff 41, Red Land 21: Another rivalry game, and it’s a critical ‘W’ for the Colts to put on the board to keep their postseason aspirations on an upward trajectory. 

Geoff Morrow: Cedar Cliff 28, Red Land 10: It’s now three wins in a row for the Colts, who have little room for error playing just inside the Class 5A playoff bubble. And, more importantly for those in the West Shore School District, a win here would complete a decade’s worth of wins vs. the Patriots, who last beat Cedar Cliff in 2012.

Andy Sandrik: Cedar Cliff 34, Red Land 16: Just when we think this is a rebuilding year for the Colts, they go and win three games in a row to put themselves in playoff contention. Key for Red Land is playing scrappy and making the game uncomfortable for its school district rival.

Adam Kulikowski: Cedar Cliff 38, Red Land 24: Colts can run their winning streak to four straight with a victory against the Patriots. If this team is to make the 12-team Class 5A postseason dance, this is a must-win. 

Hershey 31, LOWER DAUPHIN 21

Andy Shay: Hershey 28, Lower Dauphin 27: This one is a coin flip for me. Taking the Trojans’ ability to stretch the field with a couple big plays as the difference-maker. 

Geoff Morrow: Hershey 27, Lower Dauphin 21: Each team enters on a mini slide, each having their swagger sapped by a few losses in a row. But it’s still a rivalry and should be fun. I just think the Trojans have been a little better.

Andy Sandrik: Lower Dauphin 28, Hershey 24: I like how tough LD has played these past several games, even in losing, and I like the Falcons’ chances in this 50-50 scrap.

Adam Kulikowski: Hershey 24, Lower Dauphin 21: This might be one of the nail-biter tilts on the Week 9 docket. I could see paths to victory for each team and also reasons to pick against each. 

Milton Hershey 29, PALMYRA 16

Andy Shay: Milton Hershey 42, Palmyra 13: Spartans simply have too much firepower for a Cougars squad that has trouble slowing teams down.

Geoff Morrow: Milton Hershey 55, Palmyra 14: A couple of impressive, multiple-score takedowns of decent foes (Mifflin County and Lower Dauphin) over their previous two outings, the Spartans are barreling toward a potentially very entertaining and important game in Week 10 vs. Cedar Cliff.

Andy Sandrik: Milton Hershey 39, Palmyra 10: The Spartans have found their groove. Not sure how much resistance they’ll face against a Palmyra squad that’s lost seven in a row. 

Adam Kulikowski: Milton Hershey 45, Palmyra 6: This time of year, there are teams that are motivated to hit the playoffs firing on all cylinders and others who have already figuratively turned in their pads. Spartans are the former – currently the No. 5 seed in District 3 Class 4A.


NORTHERN YORK 24, Gettysburg 23

Andy Shay: Gettysburg 28, Northern 14: Strength vs. strength. In this matchup, the Warriors are better at the same game that makes the Polar Bears successful. 

Geoff Morrow: Northern 27, Gettysburg 26: Am I predicting an upset? Am I predicting the Polar Bears’ third straight one-point game? Yes and yes. The Colonial Division has more top-to-bottom parity this year than any division in recent memory, and I’m thinking Northern plays with something extra this week against the division leaders.

Andy Sandrik: Gettysburg 28, Northern 21: If you’re a fan of Colonial football, enjoy another competitive, down-to-the-wire contest from Northern. If you’re a Polar Bear parent, you just might want to get your blood pressure checked. 

Adam Kulikowski: Gettysburg 45, Northern 21: A Warriors win Friday night against Northern locks up a Colonial Division championship. Not a bad first dance in the division. 

Mechanicsburg 20, GREENCASTLE-ANTRIM 14

Andy Shay: Mechanicsburg 17, Greencastle-Antrim 14: Another toss-the-coin-in-the-air game, but something about the Wildcats and making every game close feels like they are comfortable with this type of game and know the ropes.

Geoff Morrow: Greencastle-Antrim 14, Mechanicsburg 11: Even during their current four-game slide, the Blue Devils have still shown an ability to score. The Wildcats, meanwhile, specialize in preventing teams from scoring. Can G-A do just enough at home to stop its losing streak?

Andy Sandrik: Mechanicsburg 24, Greencastle-Antrim 17: It’s been a close-but-no-cigar kind of skid for the Blue Devils, who have lost four straight. I think we’ve got another nail-biter this week with Mechanicsburg’s defense making the difference. 

Adam Kulikowski: Mechanicsburg 21, Greencastle-Antrim 20: The Blue Devils are one of those teams you kind of scratch your head and wonder what could have been with just a few breaks the other way. Wildcats ride a few more weapons on both sides of the ball to extend G-A’s frustrations.

Shippensburg 33, WAYNESBORO 13

Andy Shay: Shippensburg 34, Waynesboro 14: It hasn’t been a “typical” season for the Greyhounds, but they are still a capable squad and have the playoffs on the horizon.

Geoff Morrow: Shippensburg 23, Waynesboro 7: The Indians have scored more than twice in just one game all season. While that hasn’t prevented them from being competitive, it HAS kept them from winning. And you usually need more than two scores to beat Ship.

Andy Sandrik: Shippensburg 28, Waynesboro 10: Points have come at a premium for Waynesboro. I get the sense it’s going to take a handful of turnovers or big special teams plays for the Indians to stay within striking distance. 

Adam Kulikowski: Shippensburg 35, Waynesboro 20: There will be no Colonial Division title in the cards for Shippensburg, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have plenty to play for down the stretch. 

Susquehanna Township 30, EAST PENNSBORO 9

Andy Shay: Susquehanna Twp. 30, East Pennsboro 27: Never pick against a team on a hot streak. The ‘Hanna Tribe have won three straight and are hungry for more. They believe. Panthers are gonna be a tough out, though.

Geoff Morrow: East Pennsboro 26, Susquehanna Twp. 23: While this presents two teams on opposite three-game streaks, and the safe bet is undoubtedly red-hot ‘Hanna, I see this as very evenly matched. The Panthers need it more, though.

Andy Sandrik: Susquehanna Twp. 28, East Pennsboro 19: Picking against ‘Hanna has been a losing proposition this season, so let’s see what happens if I pick the Tribe to win. 

Adam Kulikowski: Susquehanna Twp. 28, East Pennsboro 21: Indians coach Joe Headen would be the first person to tell you his club is far from a finished product, but the fight Township put up after Northern rallied to force overtime last week was so encouraging to see. 


JUNIATA 14, Line Mountain 10

Andy Shay: Juniata 21, Line Mountain 14: Juniata let one slip away last week. That loss to UDA was a stinger. The template for success doesn’t change, though. Not sure the Eagles can knock Juniata outside of its comfort zone.

Geoff Morrow: Juniata 14, Line Mountain 6: This was a 6-3 Juniata win last year, and these foes always seem to play games that come down to the wire (though usually with more than nine total points). If Juniata brings its ‘A’ game, it could win handily, but the Eagles have a skill at mucking things up and keeping themselves within striking distance.

Andy Sandrik: Juniata 28, Line Mountain 14: How well can Juniata bounce back from that loss to Upper Dauphin that could very well determine the Liberty championship? If the Indians can stay focused, this is their game to lose.

Adam Kulikowski: Juniata 20, Line Mountain 7: Just a few feet separated the Indians from victory last week against Upper Dauphin. That Juniata ‘D’ isn’t going to let that happen for a second straight week. 

Newport 14, HALIFAX 7

Andy Shay: Newport 34, Halifax 7: The more competitive team in this battle of struggling Liberty Division squads has been the Buffaloes. They’ve earned a ‘W.’

Geoff Morrow: Newport 35, Halifax 15: This is the first time the winless Buffaloes have been favored all season, and they’ve earned it with some gutsy showings in recent weeks against quality foes.

Andy Sandrik: Newport 33, Halifax 7: The win-loss record doesn’t reflect how much the Buffs have improved over this second half of the season. This week, Newport will get that elusive first victory. 

Adam Kulikowski: Newport 24, Halifax 14: The results may not show it, but the Buffaloes have been making strides in the right direction over the last few weeks. It’s time to be rewarded for their efforts. 

Susquenita 43, JAMES BUCHANAN 12

Andy Shay: Susquenita 38, James Buchanan 14: When the Blackhawks have enjoyed a matchup advantage, they tend to light up an opponent. I could see that happening here as well.

Geoff Morrow: Susquenita 52, James Buchanan 8: While a playoff berth seems like a long shot for the Blackhawks, they’re still a near lock to finish at least .500 and could give Juniata a great battle next week.

Andy Sandrik: Susquenita 42, James Buchanan 12: Defense has been too much of a liability for the Rockets for me to call this a competitive game. 

Adam Kulikowski: Susquenita 38, James Buchanan 21: Blackhawks aren’t afraid to sling it. This is one of those weeks where the Gibney brothers show up large in the stat book. 


Notre Dame-Green Pond 48, PINE GROVE 14

Andy Shay: Notre Dame-Green Pond 41, Pine Grove 7: When you face a quarterback who has 30-plus total touchdowns and you’ve struggled to keep teams off the scoreboard, that says one-sided game.

Geoff Morrow: Notre Dame-Green Pond 50, Pine Grove 7: The Crusaders score in bunches, and the Cardinals’ defense – until recently, anyway – hasn’t exactly slowed opponents. Call this a mismatch.

Andy Sandrik: Notre Dame-Green Pond 39, Pine Grove 10: The Cardinals will need to find an answer for Crusaders QB Danny Darno, who has thrown 19 TDs and run for another 13.

Adam Kulikowski: Notre Dame-Green Pond 43, Pine Grove 14: The do-it-all QB1 over there on the Notre Dame-Green Pond side, Danny Darno, is primed to cause all sorts of problems for the Cardinals. 


WILLIAMS VALLEY 42, Shenandoah Valley 22

Andy Shay: Williams Valley 49, Shenandoah Valley 0: One team, the Vikings, has more firepower than most. The other team, the Blue Devils, has scored 87 points in eight games.

Geoff Morrow: Williams Valley 59, Shenandoah Valley 0: The Blue Devils’ lone victory is Hancock (Md.), which is the same team against whom Halifax claimed its only victory. In other words, the Vikings roll.

Andy Sandrik: Williams Valley 48, Shenandoah Valley 3: It’s going to take a lot of offense for Shenandoah to hold serve with the explosive Vikings. But that’s an awfully tough ask for a Blue Devils squad averaging 2 points per game during its three-game losing streak. 

Adam Kulikowski: Williams Valley 55, Shenandoah Valley 14: The only question in this one to me is how long it will take the Vikings to be able to let off the gas. 

Tri-Valley 33, MARIAN CATHOLIC 7

Andy Shay: Tri-Valley 41, Marian Catholic 7: Quite the former TVL double-dip for MC. Last week it was Williams Valley and now the unbeaten Bulldogs. Talk about stressing a defense.

Geoff Morrow: Tri-Valley 44, Marian Catholic 0: Just one week away from Tri-Valley vs. Williams Valley for all the marbles! We should ask the Colts for a scouting report after this weekend since they just played WV last week.

Andy Sandrik: Tri-Valley 39, Marian Catholic 7: MC could surely use a breather after last week’s beatdown loss against Williams Valley. But with 8-0 Tri-Valley due up next, it’s hard to envision anything like that this week. 

Adam Kulikowski: Tri-Valley 42, Marian Catholic 20: When was the last time the Bulldogs reached 9-0 to start the season? Asking for a friend. 


Upper Dauphin 42, BIG SPRING 35

Andy Shay: Upper Dauphin 33, Big Spring 27: This will not be an easy outing for the Trojans. Big Spring is better than its 3-5 record and has some potential to overpower UDA. Getting this game into a shootout is key for the Trojans.

Geoff Morrow: Upper Dauphin 28, Big Spring 26: Unless they’ve added a game I don’t know about, this is the Bulldogs’ season finale. And don’t underestimate the importance of this game to the Trojans, who could win the outright Liberty title by beating Line Mountain next week and still potentially miss the District 3 Class 3A playoffs if they lose here and Berks Catholic wins its final two games. Best bet for UDA is not leaving anything to chance by taking care of business vs. Big Spring. 

Andy Sandrik: Big Spring 24, Upper Dauphin 21: Key for Big Spring will be possession time. If the Bulldogs can win the clock, they can beat the fast-paced Trojans.

Adam Kulikowski: Upper Dauphin 38, Big Spring 20: The Trojans should be riding high after a thrilling last-second hold to preserve their victory against Juniata last week. This one should be a little less stressful. 

Canceled: Middletown at Boiling Springs (Bubblers win by forfeit)

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